What is a "remarried widow?"

A remarried widow shouldn’t exist. People ask her, “how can you call yourself a widow if you’re also married?” She’s milking the label. They don’t know what it was like to be married, widowed, and single all at the same time, 3 labels she never chose to wear together. She’s already cheated on a dead man. Nothing gets more absurd beyond that, so she keeps the labels that fit.

A remarried widow may be two things at one time, but she can never be what she was before.

A remarried widow is used to being a problem to somebody. She knows there’s not that much in life that she can control so she doesn’t accept a lot of the rules that others live with.

A remarried widow is grieving, but she is not alone.

A remarried widow is comfortable being two things at once, satisfied with ambiguity, and secure in her definition.

A remarried widow raises children who have one Daddy who died and another Daddy who met him a few times and thought he was a good guy and who will show up at soccer practice.

A remarried woman has made some tough decisions, and has also been presented with some easy choices.

A remarried widow enjoyed her independence, for a moment.

A remarried widow is sharing a story with a happy ending, and she knows you’re comfortable hearing about it only because of the last bits. She accepts this frustrating aspect of socializing but she is still thankful to own all the earlier parts of the story, too, as well as what may be next.

A remarried widow says, in public, that she knows how lucky she is to have had two great loves in one lifetime. Secretly she thinks it’s an option for everyone.

A remarried widow is not remotely interested in your “epic” kitchen remodel.

A remarried widow inspires women whose lives are recently broken, especially those who can’t imagine kissing someone new.

A remarried widow wears black, but never to weddings.

A remarried widow is pretty judgmental about most divorces.

A remarried widow recognizes her duties and her pleasures.

A remarried widow cries at weddings, funerals, and birthdays.

A remarried widow has really good life insurance coverage and so does her husband.

A remarried widow does not want to go through it again, but doesn’t want to die first, either.

* * * Please connect! I love comments! * * *


Joannah said...

Well said!

Sara said...

Oh my gosh Thank You!!! We agree and feel the same on so many things. What hit me is the line about being judgemental with most divorces. I have friends tangled up in difficult marriages and sometime I want to slap people either physically or verbally with some kind of tirade about how they are lucky that their man or woman is till breathing. Shut the f. up and work it out. This coming from someone who stuggled in a difficult marriage for a long time. I am pissed that we didn't work things out sooner because our happily ever after got cut very short by the motercycle wreck.
Ya know what i mean? I want everyone else to have longer than I had and regret the spent the time I had more wisely

Kim said...

People who are asking you these questions- I suspect they think that there is a "compassion pie" out there with a limited amount of slices. When really compassion is an infinite property. There "should" be more than enough compassion for everyone.

Good for you to speak to how you are marginalized yet again - as if there has not already been enough for one lifetime.

Everyone's situation is hard and there are spaces of grace within every story. Your remarriage is a grace. And yet, it likely provides some challenging moments. Like, possibly, the moments of grieving in front of a lover who is waiting for you to wake up and see them. You are not wanting to make them suffer your absence, yet you have to be honest in your grief.

The only thing I chafe about in your list is your reference to divorced people. I understand what you are saying, and you certainly should speak your truth. But it strikes me as one more divisive place between us all - and do we need continue in this? Do we need more sweeping generalizations?

Over all, though, I am glad you shared from your unique experience. Well done in elucidating more of the hinterlands and byways of human existence. I hope it serves to open minds and hearts to increase rather than the route of reduction. Blessings.

jessica said...

I speak from two places - one from being married and divorced, and the second from being married and widowed. And I can understand Kim's feelings as well as those widowed.

And if you think that being remarried after widowhood is drawing comments, try LIVING together. Now THAT really raises some hackles, but I refuse to deal with that judgmental attitude. I am doing fine with the decision that I made, and if it bothers you, well, you can tell someone who gives a damn (thanks to Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind)!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Kim and Jessica,

I'd like to be more compassionate about divorces where kids are involved, but I'm just not there yet. Something to aim for, definitely! Generally I try to be "hard on issues, easy on people," but sometimes I don't succeed at that, either.

Thanks for speaking your peace, too.



Bridgett said...

Great post . . . even though I'm not a remarried widow (yet?) :-)

Star said...

"A remarried widow does not want to go through it again, but doesn’t want to die first, either." I actually do want to die first and I def do not want to get super old.

And I agree, everyone can have multiple loves. Even if they aren't exactly romantic in nature.

Stella said...

Oh yes... I identify with so much of what you have written! It's hard to explain such feelings to others. Thanks.

Stella (another remarried widow sharing a remarried widow post.)

Anonymous said...

My husband,(best friend of THE husband) asked me just this the other day, "when are you NOT a widow" I told him always...

Jill said...

just happened upon your blog... through another gal...through Comfort Zone Camp.
my husband died in 2008. I am super thrilled to see your list of other bloggers (by the year)
Looks like I'll have some reading to do :-)

also.... loved this post about remarriage!

CCCCppppCCppp said...

An unmarried widower says Yes: insurance, story with a happyendng, divorces (even though my 1st marriage ended in divorce with no children).
"does not want to go through it again, but doesn't want to die first" and knows that either way it's worth it.
What's the chance that someone not widowed would understand for the long haul?

Barbara Barth said...

Just found your blog and this post is great. Going back to read more. My husband died two years ago just as I was turning 60. No kids and retired from my fed job playing at being an antique dealer. To find my new life I wrote a book about my fragmented first year doing all those things I never thought I'd do again...The Unfaithful Widow. It turned out to be a funny book and my bridge to my new life where I write about living with six dogs.
I do believe in second great loves and hope that will be me someday. Meanwhile I write and live each day wiyh joy.
Come say hello. www.barbarabarth.net

Ferree Bowman Hardy said...

This is such a great post! So much of it was "That's me!" and some made me laugh--like life insurance--definitely! And judgmental about divorce--sorry, but you people need to wake up and forgive each other! And death? I told husband #2 he has to do 40 years with me. If he dies before that, I'll have to kill him. (bad widow humor) Great blog, thanks for keeping it up so well!

Madison said...

It's so Good to hear the journeys of others through this time. Though I'm not married yet and am wondering if I will be until after 60 because of the box Social Security put you in with benefits...I was widowed last year at age 40. Creating your own path after the derailment is just necessary, there's no map for this territory and I love the line on making your own rules and living with ambiguity, that you grieve, but you are not alone. All true even for me now, before any possibility of a new marriage. Love your putting it like it is. It clears the confusion in a person's head up, though that is becoming less, because....I'm learning to live with no answers, no certainties. Learning to be okay with all of it, no matter what happens next.

Anonymous said...

Love your description! I used your idea of being widowed, married and single all at once:
Family Is Forum
Because it is so true.


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